I have recently been challenging myself to not only ask for the end of violence against trans femme people of color, but to demand our wellbeing, safety, and pleasure.
I started to think about how I have normalized so many daily routines of erasing myself so I don't have to experience harassment: wearing pants instead of a skirt to get groceries, wearing a button down shirt instead of a dress so people will find me attractive, deepening my voice, hiding my painted nails, taking off my jewelry. I get so hurt when people talk about progress for LGBT people and women because what about gender non-conforming people who are always left behind?
Many of us rarely -- if ever -- have access to spaces to validate and celebrate ourselves.
I can't walk out of my house looking like I want without fear of their shame. I struggle constantly with being taken seriously, being seen as legitimate, let alone desirable.
When I think about my work life I ask myself if I would have been a performer if I wasn't trans -- or was that the only space people like me could go, the stage? I think about how professionalism means gender binary means always seeing us as frivolous & never competent, means me constantly not speaking about the things I go through daily -- things that are not microaggressions, because they are reminders of the fact that who I am at my core is hated, feared, disgusted -- not just by straight & cis people, but by queer & trans people themselves.
And the thing is you get used to it, normalize the daily routine of erasing yourself to fit in. I don't question it when I wear pants to visit family, to go on a date, to take public transport. I don't question to it when I don't correct people on my pronouns or their assumptions of my body & its history. I don't question it when I hear people talk about women's issues, queer issues, trans issues, but they aren't talking about me.
I have to constantly remind myself that I deserve the ability to look like whatever I want without fear of violence. I deserve to be desired for being gender non-conforming and femme. I deserve intimacy and solidarity and kindness and respect. I deserve more than this.
I deserve more than this.